It has been announced by the World Health Organisation that 800,000 people globally die of suicide, and by now it may have most certainly hit 1000,000 people, that’s one person every 40 seconds. Every 40 seconds a person decides to take their own life because of the immense pressure that they have been inflicted upon. Whether that be due to societal expectation, friends, parents, school, relationships or anything, they all relate to humans. There is much more than just a pandemic around us. COVID-19 taught us how much we can accomplish greatness together. Yet some of us poison ourselves and others around us with words or phrases such as, “you will never be good enough”, poisoning the mind and tricking the brain until we fully believe the lies we are feeding ourselves. We are killing our own kind. Words can have so much power and so much potential. Don't believe me? Well then listen closely.
Back in Year 8 in my Maths class, I was failing horribly. 90% of the tests that I did that year didn't even reach 50%. The lowest score I got that year was 23%. My teacher back then would always remind the class that those who do not pass will fail in future years. He would always remind us day after day after day. Until I finally moved to Year 9 I took a massive turn. I had a new teacher who motivated and guided me along my journey. I started to get 70% then 80% then eventually earned a highest score of 97% and claimed my place as top 4 of my whole year group and top of my class. I went from a guy that didnt even get 30% on his tests all the way to the top 4 of his year group. All because of simple yet powerful words that drove me to success. Prince EA once said, “Sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me, WRONG, see words can cut deeper and fester longer than any sword known to man”. Do you still have scars that you can still feel today? The words that you were told. The lies that you were fed. I still remember today the words and phrases I was told by my parents.
Words that made me feel so hopeless and vulnerable, like a great tall sailing ship with high quality materials, destined for greatness but stuck because its anchor has sunk with all the words and phrases piling on top. I believed I was a failure, I believed that I would never succeed, I believed that I would forever be alone. It hurt so much...and I didn't know if I was going to make it through this storm.
I was watching a Ted Talk early this year and what I heard was atrocious.
The speaker told about a devastating event that took place around 2014. In Sichuan’s Wangkang (China) a boy by the name of Xiao Fang had recently taken a Gaokao exam. Now rumours state that Gaokao is one of the “notoriously toughest” exams in China. They say children prepare 6-10 years for this test. Anyway, Xiao Fang’s parents had been away for work in Beijing and they called Xiao on the results day, eagerly waiting to hear his results. Xiao had said that he had received a score of 470 points. 20 points above the score he requires to secure him a safe place at a great university. His parents were filled with joy and happiness so they decided to come over the summer holidays to celebrate Xiao’s swansong. Strangely enough, those celebrations never happened. When his parents arrived, Xiao Fang was dead. It turns out Xiao did not receive a score of 470, he had received 170. Xiao had lived with all the shame and pressure all through the summer and finally took his own life. To those parents who are reading this, please listen closely, I know you only want your child to have the best life they can possibly have, and I'm sure Xiao’s parents had the same intention as well, but the result they got was no life at all.
So please I highly beg of you, especially parents, be very aware of the words that you use, because although it may not seem like much to you, it can mean a whole hell to others. I know for a fact that there are thousands of children out there who are getting emotionally abused by their parents and guardians. Whenever a child makes a mistake, it’s a parents job to make it right or support them, not to criticize them and yell at them for their mistakes, putting them in fear of raising their hands in class, avoiding eye contact with teachers, being afraid to answer. Whenever a child forgets something, it’s a parents job to help them remember it, not criticising them for constantly forgetting things, putting them in constant stress and pressure whenever they don't remember a test answer. To all parents that are reading, I know that your parents may have not done the same with you, they may have verbally abused you and emotionally, but do you think its right to pass the same poisonous traits to your own child? Making them suffer like you did?
An innocent and beautiful soul who was given a gift and hoped for his so-called “guardians” to protect and guide them to his/her dreams. Allowing them to spread their wings and fly ever so lightly to their dreams instead of just viciously cutting them off and leaving them to dream only. There are thousands of children and teenagers out there, screaming and crying in emotional and mental pain. Would you help them if you could? Next time when your child or teen brings home a test score that is not “of standard”, instead of criticising them, congratulate them on the correct things and help them to achieve better. Now read that sentence again, the keyword is help. That's all they ever wanted, help. Yet they are struck in fear of asking for help, because they believe that all they will receive is criticism and rekindling trauma from the past. Now you ask me after giving you all these issues, what is the solution? Well like a multiple choice question, it has been staring at us in the face for a long time. Words. Choose your words wisely. Read that sentence again, make sure you have it properly in your mind. Always watch your words. ALWAYS. I'm sure both of us do not want our children or future children to lose their wings and fall too deep. Watch. Your. Words.